Tribal solutions and challenges


Today. We're GONNA start off in Tacoma County in California. We Have Greg. Sarah's he is the chairman of the Federated Indians of Grayton Ranch Ria he is a tribal member of the Rancho Rio which includes descendants of the southern. Pomo and coast me walk. People are pleasure to have him here and Sarah's welcome thank you terra. Good morning and chairman just want to start off in understand more about what is your tribe is facing and where things currently stand in terms of facing cove in nineteen Well I think as with all tribes are. I thought of my first thought. Is the leader in. The leadership of this tribe is to take care of our tribal citizens How do we ensure their health? How do we continue programs at service? The elders and so forth With of course short with do less revenue At the same time we have a large casino One of the largest in California. We have fifteen hundred nearly fifteen hundred tribal citizens and at the same time we have over two thousand team members that work in the Casino Resort Casino. Close about a month ago And so of course. Revenues dried up. We've been very fortunate. I will have to say we've been able Well with spending money we've been able to take care of our citizens that's far and continue per capsule albeit somewhat reduced or You know pull back lever connector cavs ability to pay for caps. But we've been able to keep our been most of our programs going And we've been. I think very worked very hard. It's been very stressful for me to make sure that the all the team members who've been furloughed Since that time and for the indefinite future will be Will continue to receive their medical benefits. We will continue to. We have a very good plan. A the Chitral Cadillac plan whereby they pay nothing out of their paycheck so while they're furloughed. We continue to do that. We paid their salaries until many I After which we made sure that with the bump in the employment from the federal government to six hundred dollar bump that they will have somewhat close to equitable pay And so we figure with that and the insurance which will go on indefinitely. They're they're covered but it's been really really stressful About how to get monies We Hope Tara that we will get We believe we're GONNA get the employee retention credit Because we kept our employees. We have a hundred employees just in our travel office with our programs and we had to reduce furlough some of them and reduce salaries there We Governor Newsom here in. California has been very good he. We don't have to pay our compact fees. He's weighed compact piece for six months. Which of the Health? And of course we hope to apply for the Stabilization Fund for the tracks. It sure interment. Is there any talk that those funds will have to be paid back eventually the compact fees? No I don't because again The money the the casinos are closed down. And they're not generating any revenue and remember the very good question the compaq fees based on revenue and when there's no revenue that okay and I think the guy. I don't believe the governor's going to ask us to pay them back or if he does It'll be able to do away in a way that it won't break if he's been very good insensitive to our situation but for the time being of course the casinos are generating revenue and a big other question that we have right now. Those of us that are operating casinos. How do we reopen when if and when we do reopen? We're going to have to practice. The you know six feet distancing measure how do you what would you imagine a casino with Slot Machines and card tables? How do you open a large facility? Which is the one we have Where whereby? You have to have people six feet apart all of Asli. Your revenue flow is going to be greatly reduced when you do reopen so again. That is something that I will sit down and talk to the governor about when that time comes. I'm working on a model for how to do that with him. Now but again we have no idea when that limited opening will begin in. This is something in a lot of tribal leaders are thinking about 'em especially because the tribe makes the call whether it's open or not and A lot of tribes have just on their own heeded the call to Bring more awareness. And that's why a lot of them have closed down end so chairman says anything else you WANNA share about dealing with the state to either get funding or aid or assistance needed Often in the past. It's been the story That sometimes there are way too many hurdles when it comes to working with the state having a seat at the table. We've heard a lot of different things too when it comes to fema funding. Where do things stand now? That relationship with the tribe or with the state. Sorry well we were in A. We're in a very good place. We WE HAVE A. We are our particular type we have. I have a good relationship with Governor tribes here thus far have had a good relationship with governor newsom so Again one of the things as I was waiting We didn't want to furlough any of our people until I kept in touch with him until he negotiated with the feds to get that unemployment bump once he got that then for instance we could take care of our furloughed people and quit paying them salaries. We were paying the full salary until we heard that. But that bump so we waited we worked with him for that we also as I said are working with him. have worked with him to For the time being away the contact sees So So far so good I mean given the situation now regarding the opening I will. We will defer to him when it is safe and ready. I know that some smaller tribes others may want to do differently We also have as you indicated or inferred the option of not opening. But we're doing everything we can. And when we do reopen we're already looking into the various devices which To tell people have a fever coming into the casino An all that sort of thing. So we will comply with Whatever he suggests regarding avery opening my tribal I can't of COURSE SPEAK FOR OTHER TRIBES. Serio in chairman when it comes to your tribe are there any reported cases of covert nineteen? No not that I know of We have taken really strict measures to talk to. Our families are traveled families of particularly keeping the elders inside Sheltering in place a lot of things are kind of sad. I mean we were. We have larger organic garden where we were delivering vegetables and so forth to elders Our some of our staff were in. You know we've had to stop even things like that But yet our services are still in place so that if tribal elders have any health issues they are staff in the tribal office are in contact with the families and with the elders. So that if anything comes up There is an infrastructure in place to support our people in the matter of any health issues that arise

Coming up next